August 18, 2020
For immediate release
Chapel Hill: The Erie Insurance Company of Erie, Pennsylvania has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet for encouraging motorcyclists to install custom exhaust pipes to increase noise and to install a sound system.
The Erie Insurance Company published the following article in the spring 2020 issue of ErieSense magazine:
Mike Molesevich, an Erie Insurance Company customer for many years from Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, was surprised by what the magazine was promoting. He stated that “insurance companies should be encouraging safety, courtesy, and respect from all drivers. Altering a vehicle’s exhaust to make it louder is against the law. Noise is a form of air pollution. An insurance company should realize that noisy motorcycles and other vehicles are a distraction and danger to other motorists and pedestrians. Increased risk means increased accidents and increased premiums for customers. Erie Insurance’s promotion of noisy vehicles is irresponsible and mistaken advice.”
Another Pennsylvania resident, Anthony Lombardy, wrote a letter to Tim NeCastro, the CEO of Erie Insurance. He asked Mr. NeCastro “why your insurance company, which supposedly supports safe driving habits and vehicles, is suggesting to motorcycle owners they should install louder exhaust systems and increase motorcycle horsepower?”
Lombardy noted that “motorcycles are already one of the fastest vehicles produced, and they come equipped from the factory with exhaust systems that are in compliance with U.S. EPA noise levels. Custom exhausts—which are encouraged in the article—cause significantly increased noise levels, which are hazardous to homeowners, pedestrians, children, joggers, runners, and bicyclists. Loud noise is especially dangerous for children.”
Lombardy told the insurance company CEO that “I have friends and family members who have policies with Erie Insurance; they are displeased with Erie Insurance promoting loud exhaust systems. Many are disgusted with having to endure the annoyingly loud and hazardous noise from motorcycles with custom exhaust systems. Unless the Erie Insurance Company stops encouraging motorcyclists to install illegal after-market equipment, I will advise everyone I know to find another insurance company.”
Larry Deal, a Noise Free America member from North Carolina, commented that “this Erie Insurance Company article obviously contains bad advice. It encourages motorcycle owners to modify their motorcycle exhaust system, in stark violation of federal and state laws—thereby inflicting unnecessary and excessive noise on the general public.”
Ted Rueter, director of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet, stated that “the Erie Insurance Company needs to read our book, Guide to Modified Exhausts: A Reference for Law Enforcement and Motor Vehicle Inspectors. Modified exhausts for the purpose of making more noise is illegal. It is shocking that an insurance company would be endorsing illegal actions.”
Contact information for Erie Insurance:
Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet is a national citizens’ organization devoted to noise reduction. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include central Pennsylvania; Johnstown, Pennsylvania; and Geico Insurance.